Liberty Fabrics and the Avant-Garde

Prompted by Liberty’s release of a brand-new fabric collection curated by renowned Italian couturier and interior designer Federico Forquet, this book looks back through the Liberty archives to explore the strong influence of early twentieth-century avant-garde art on Liberty’s fabric designs. Available from from 17th April 2023.

Liberty is renowned internationally for its fabrics, especially its floral patterns, but it also has a long history of developing bold, geometric designs. Many of these were inspired by early twentieth-century avant-garde art, notably by Italian Futurists, such as Giacomo Balla and Umberto Boccioni, and their English contemporaries the Vorticists, including Christopher Nevinson and Edward Wadsworth.

In anticipation of Liberty’s 150th anniversary, renowned couturier and interior designer Federico Forquet has curated a striking new range of fabrics—the FuturLiberty collection—that carries Liberty’s creative heritage into our own age. The Futurist and Vorticist art that lies behind the new designs is explored by specialists Ester Coen and Richard Cork, while archivist Anna Buruma examines Liberty’s rich history of avant-garde designs. By illuminating the process by which the FuturLiberty collection came into being, this highly visual study also reveals how art can inform design, making it contemporary, relevant, and engaging.

Ester Coen is an expert on Italian Futurism and the international avant-garde. She has been Associate Professor at the University of Florence and Professor at the universities of Udine and L’Aquila. Richard Cork is an art historian, critic, curator, and broadcaster. He has been an art critic for the Evening Standard, The Listener, The Times, and the New Statesman, and is a past Turner Prize judge.